LAUNCESTON alderman Annette Waddle has encouraged the city's women to nominate themselves in this year's council elections after she has decided not to recontest, ending 25 years as a city alderman.
The council's second female alderman, and Launceston MLC, Rosemary Armitage, will not be able to recontest as well due to new restrictions on dual elected government roles.
Alderman Waddle yesterday reflected on her 25 years, which have made her the city's longest serving woman.
She said she decided to contest a seat in 1989 when Launceston's sole female alderman Jandy Godfrey decided not to go for re-election.
"I only wanted the seat so there weren't only grey suits at the table," Alderman Waddle said.
She said then, aldermen had a more acrimonious relationship with each other, which has since mellowed as the faces have changed.
"There were two camps when I started, and they didn't get on too well," Alderman Waddle said.
She came to public attention as the Launceston president of the Federation Association of Australian Housewives - a group that rallied for better deals for consumers - and soon became a "go-to person" for people with concerns.
"I was a counsellor before I was a councillor," Alderman Waddle said.
She has been often referred to as the "Mayor of Mowbray", owing to her focus on Launceston's northern suburbs.
Alderman Waddle lists her motions on dilapidated buildings and smoking in enclosed areas, which led to state legislative changes, and community upgrades at Mowbray and Lilydale, as proud achievements.
"I like to speak for the ordinary people, or at least I try to," she said.